Advertisement

USMC F-35 fighter crashes near U.S.-Mexico border after midair collision

By
Don Jacobson
A U.S. Marine Corps F-35B Lightning II similar to this one crashed in Southern California on Tuesday, authorities said. File Photo by U.S. Air Force/Staff Sgt. Corey Hook/UPI
A U.S. Marine Corps F-35B Lightning II similar to this one crashed in Southern California on Tuesday, authorities said. File Photo by U.S. Air Force/Staff Sgt. Corey Hook/UPI

Sept. 30 (UPI) -- A Marine Corps fighter jet has crashed in Southern California after clipping a refueling tanker in flight, military officials said.

The F-35B Lightning II, the military's newest and most expensive fighter aircraft, went down Tuesday near Salton City, Calif., and Ocotillo Wells State Park, where it caused some fires upon impact that were quickly extinguished.

Advertisement

The pilot of the fighter jet ejected safely before it crashed in Imperial Valley, Calif., according to a statement from officials at Marine Corps Air Station Yuma in Arizona.

The pilot received minor injuries.

The crew of the other plane, a Lockheed Martin KC-130J refueling tanker, made an emergency landing with its wheels still retracted in a carrot field near the Jacqueline Cochran Regional Airport in Thermal, Calif., witnesses said.

Imperial Valley is located about 120 miles east of downtown San Diego, near the U.S.-Mexico border.

The cause of the accident is under investigation.

Latest Headlines